The international lender’s annual Ease of Doing Business study found the UK slipped 10 places to 28th on its measure of easiest places to launch a new company.
Britain also came an embarrassing 74th place on the list of easiest places for a new business to receive an electricity connection, adding to pressure on the UK’s energy companies.
However, the overall ease of doing business in Britain remained impressive with the country ranked 10th on the global measure.
There was also surprise that Britain is ranked as the best country in the world for businesses to access credit, despite continued complaints from the government and small businesses that banks are not lending enough.
This annual study into competitiveness takes account of issues such as red tape, tax levels and protections for investors. Singapore led the table for the eighth consecutive year, while Ukraine gained credit for being the most improved economy. The worst countries for potential investors were all in Africa, including Chad, Central African Republic and Libya.